My saga continues

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by PinkFloydDan, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. If any of you remember, I am the guy who recently quit a band and joined a real band, who gigs about every weekend.

    Anyway, we have had about 9 practices so far. Gigs begin March 4. I have learned maybe 14 songs pretty well and another 5 or 6 are almost sort of down.

    On Saturday, they asked me if I would be interested in re-dubbing the bass lines on their new, soon to be done, ep CD, because their old bassist quit and won't return their calls. I accepted.

    However, I have never done studio work before. I imagine the bassist needs to have his "sh$t" together and have the bass lines down pat. Perfect. I am real nervous.

    One song I cannot figure out. It is much to fast for what I feel I can do right now and getting it down in two weeks scares me.

    And I am not sure what alternate bass line I could do. Another song, I still have some issues with, but I know how it works...It is just technique, speed and timing that is getting me.

    And in 2 weeks I have to have it all down pat? Man, I am flipping out.

    Any advice on how to approach studio work? Are their tricks to the trade in a studio that might serve me that I could bring up to the tech guy to make it sound like I know what I am doing?

    If anyone wants to hear rough recordings from practice last week of two of the songs on the cd, go to and listen to Lucky-Strangest Feeling--it will only be up there for another day, as I promised to take it down because of the poor recording of it (a little zoom unit) but it gives you an idea of where I have come in such a short time with these guys. The rest of the tunes are old and not with the band so ignore them.

    The band web site is

    none of the tunes up there are me playing though. They were seriously spoiled with the last bass player who is a lot better than I.

    But, the theme here is I am a bit worried of embarrasing myself in this studio. I read the studio's "studio tips" page and it says I should come prepared and have a full understanding of the material because stop and go takes can really bother them.

    I found that to be a bit rude considering it is my damn money--I should be able to take as many takes as I want in that timeframe, but I surely do see frustration in that.

    SO, there's my wussy spiehl. WHo can calm me down?

    And if anyone who is real tight cares to help me learn this one song that is causing me problems, IM or email me and maybe we could meet online and I could send you the MP3.

  2. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Man, I know how you feel.

    When I recorded with my old band, I was the only person who had never done it before. I am not a stellar bassist. I am self-taught, and had *no* idea what I was getting into.

    Also, in my current band, I am filling the shoes of a far-more-accomplished bassist. The drummer and vocalist, who worked with him, have had a hard time with me sometimes, because I don't/can't always play *exactly* the way the old bassist did. We want to record, so I have to work hard to get the right feel and sound.

    The best thing I can tell you is this: Focus on what you have to do in the studio. Make it your priority. Play it and play it until you feel very confident. Develop your own feel for the bass line. That way, you come up with "alternate" lines without really having to think about it.

    Write It Down...If nothing else, it cements everything in your mind. Map out for yourself where your changes are, etc. Jot down little lines of tabs for difficult passages. It really helps to fix it in your mind, so that you can call it up when you get nervous in the studio.

    Work scales and exercises, too, if you don't already. This will help you be more precise. I found that being able to play smoothly and precisely is *most* important in recording. I have all kinds of string noise and wonky tone on my old recordings, and I really wish I had prepared more along these lines. To hear my lines clear and smooth...well, if wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak. :-}

    's the best thing I can think of...Exercise, exercise, writ it down, and prepare prepare prepare.

    My mind'd be blown, too, man!

  3. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Bit of advo: DO NOT keep it to yourself if you're having trouble figuring out one of the songs. Sometimes we can't figure it on our own. Get with the drummer at least.

    Another nugget: If you're trying to figure out what works in a song, go into what I call "DJ mode". Listen to your cd's and see which song could be blended with it if you was deejaying at a club. The very first band I was in recorded an EP when I'd only been playing for 7 months. In the bridge of one of the songs, I thought that it had a "Crosstown Traffic" vibe, so I stuck the bassline to that song in the bridge. During playback, the band leader mumbled, "Brilliant." under his breath.:cool: We "self taught" bassists are like blind people. The blind have no sight, so they have to heighten their other senses. We don't have formal training, so you've gotta heighten your ears and ideas. That's how I came up with the "deejay" method. ;) If anyone here is familiar with our (El Pus) music, and has our cd, listen to "Place 2 Be", you'll notice that the chorus bassline has a "Can You Feel It?" - The Jacksons, vibe to it.
  4. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    Dude, that *is* brilliant.

  5. Woodchuck


    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    Wow, thanks! :hyper:
  6. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    +1, sage advice here.

    I say ask for all the help you need, make them run the songs with you over and over 'til your ready. They'll see how serious you are to do a good job.

    Listen to 'chuck, he knows....
  7. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas
    You're welcome! I'm self-taught, too, and your suggestions are very helpful. I wish I'd thought to do like you did. One of my old band's songs was very Santana-like. It was the first bass line I ever wrote myself. I did get a nice compliment on it from the drummer though. He said I played it like Pino Palladino. Whoo-whee! :)

    Cherie :cool:
  8. xonebass


    Feb 17, 2005
    Orange, CA
    I concur that having a good feel for what *works* for the song is the most important element. If you can capture that feeling you will be able to sell the song. In other words play what's best for the song.

    As far as learning the music goes I would suggest listening to the tunes (assuming you have a decent recording) as much as possible and I definately agree that you should ask for help. Your band mates have a legit reason to be mad at you if you can't play a tune AND you didn't ask for help, but if you ask for help you will earn their respect because you're showing them respect for the tune.

  9. I have absolutely asked for help. A great guy in Canada, Steve Lehmann, also sent me a bassline simplified. It helped. I am on my way. I practiced it for a good 90 minutes today. I am going to bed.

    The lead bandmate is getting me a track with just the bass and drums. SO, the request has been made. And, he told me today if I cannot get it all down next week, it is OK, because they still need to master it and do a few other music adds, so I have another chance.

  10. txbasschik


    Nov 11, 2005
    Leander, Texas

    Cherie :bassist: